Going to get a dental treatment or even a simple check-up can be the source of severe anxiety for some people. Patients may be nervous about the procedure or may fear discomfort. Other patients are anxious about being embarrassed by their oral hygiene habits, especially if they haven’t been to the dentist in awhile.
Some people’s anxiety about going to the dentist is so severe that it’s actually a phobia. Phobias can develop because of negative experiences the person has had in the past, or simply because of stories the person has heard about someone else’s experience. All in all, approximately 40 million people inAmericaput off going to the dentist, or avoid it altogether, because of anxiety.
There are several options for modern anxiety-free dentistry. These methods allow patients to undergo necessary procedures and routine check-ups without fear and discomfort.
One such option is the use of Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. The gas is best for patients whose anxiety is mild or moderate. It’s an excellent option for patients who have to resume their normal routine immediately after the appointment.
Laughing gas comes in tanks that are hooked up to a small mask. When you breathe in, the mask releases the gas. The effects of the gas start within a few minutes, and will leave the patient feeling relaxed and comfortable.
Some dentists also use oral conscious sedation for patients with higher levels of anxiety. This involves taking a sedative before the appointment starts, so that you are relaxed and comfortable. Depending on the type of sedation used, you may need someone to drive you home until the effects wear off.
The final level of anxiety-free dentistry is intravenous (IV) sedation, which is appropriate for severe anxiety levels. This level involves the administration of an anxiety medication to the bloodstream. The effects are very fast.
During IV sedation, the patient remains conscious, but generally unaware of what is happening. The patient doesn’t usually remember much about the procedure. This form of sedation also requires a driver to take you home.
To learn more about the various sedation options and to schedule your next exam in Irving TX, contact Active Dental at 972-556-0600.